, Volume 94, Issue 9, pp 759–768 | Cite as

Artiodactyls from the Pondaung Formation (Myanmar): new data and reevaluation of the South Asian Faunal Province during the Middle Eocene

  • Grégoire Métais
  • Aung Naing Soe
  • Laurent Marivaux
  • K. Christopher Beard
Original Paper


Although Asia is thought to have played a critical role in the radiation of artiodactyls, the fossil record of stem selenodonts (“dichobunoids”) remains dramatically poor in tropical Asian regions. In this study, we report a new dichobunid genus and species Cadutherium kyaukmagyii and a new basal ruminant genus and species Irrawadymeryx pondaungi, from the late Middle Eocene Pondaung Formation, Central Myanmar. Although the scarcity of the present material prevents any attempts to investigate the phylogenetic relationships of Cadutherium with contemporaneous forms from other Holarctic landmasses, this new form shed new light on the diversity of these small rabbit-like ungulates during a key period of their evolutionary history. Reexamination of the small-bodied artiodactyls from Pondaung leads us to propose new identifications of certain published specimens and, in turn, to investigate the temporal and geographic distribution of taxa recognized in the Pondaung Formation. Although fragmentary, these potential new taxa reveal an unsuspected diversity of small forms among artiodactyls of Pondaung. This addition to the Eocene record of dichobunoids and early ruminants provides further insight in the diversity of dental patterns among small artiodactyls from the Pondaung Formation and attests to the antiquity of these groups in Southeast Asia.


Artiodactyla Dichobunoid Eocene Pondaung Formation Myanmar 



We are grateful to all the persons who helped us during the last field sessions in Myanmar, especially the villagers of Moggaung, Bahin, and Maggyigan for their welcome and valuable help. These fossils were collected in the frame of the field expeditions in the Pondaung Formation directed by J.J. Jaeger. G.M. is grateful to D.E Russell and P. Tassy (MNHN-Paris) for providing the casts of fossil mammals from the Eocene Kuldana and Subathu Formations (Pakistan); Xianghua Sun and Mark Klingler (CMNH, Pittsburgh) for their help with bibliography and graphics, respectively; the members of the VP section of the CMNH for their constant support and fruitful discussions; and Carol and Phil Fraley (Phil Fraley Productions, Inc., Hoboken, NJ) for their help. The comments and suggestions of S.L. Walsh, J.J. Hooker, and a third anonymous referee contributed to improve this paper. This research was supported by the Singer Polignac (Paris), the CNRS-Eclipse Program, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grégoire Métais
    • 1
  • Aung Naing Soe
    • 2
  • Laurent Marivaux
    • 3
  • K. Christopher Beard
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Vertebrate PaleontologyCarnegie Museum of Natural HistoryPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeologyPa-an UniversityPa-anMyanmar
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Paléontologie, Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution (UMR-CNRS 5554)Université de Montpellier IIMontpellierFrance

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